By Mike Smith
We’re smack in the middle of summer, so any talk of education might seem downright unpatriotic. Still, the dark secret of many great games is that they can teach you stuff without your even realizing it. These winners are as enjoyable as they are edifying.
It’s a happy thing that one of the biggest breakout hits of the past few years is secretly teaching our children everything from geometry to resource management to teamwork. Admittedly, it may also be teaching them that diamonds can be turned into excellent swords and that riding a pig is socially acceptable behavior. Good, bad — either way, it’s hard to play Minecraft and not learn anything.
2. LittleBigPlanet 2
Sony struck educational gold with the LittleBigPlanet series. On its surface it’s just a platform game where you can fool about with some level components; underneath it’s an engine for creating your own games, complete with a rich graphical programming language that’s flexible enough to make anything from racers to shooters. Keep your eye out for the game’s third installment, due this November.
The more esoteric your verbiage, the more prodigious your remuneration. Bookworm is so educational it even comes with a built-in dictionary. Any game where you’re assembling letters into words can’t fail to be at least somewhat educational — and Bookworm is just as much fun for adults as it is for kids.